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chants," he had him in the greatest honour, taught || advice, wipe off the imputation of his former folly ; him the learning that became a free man, and gave for whether it were that he expected the repetihim leave to make use of a diet better than was tion of her solicitations, she had now made it, allotted to slaves; he also intrusted the care of and that with greater earnestness than before, for his house to him. Joseph, however, did not for that she had pretended sickness on this very acget that virtue which he had before, upon such a count, and had preferred his conversation before change of his condition ; but he demonstrated that the festival and its solemnity: or whether he opwisdom was able to govern the uneasy passions posed her former discourses, as not believing she of life, in such as have it in reality, and do not could be in earnest : she now gave him sufficient only put it on for a show, under a present state security, by thus repeating her application, that of prosperity.
she meant not in the least by fraud to impose on His master's wife soon fell in love with him, him, and assured him, that if he complied with both on account of his beauty of body, and his her affections, he might expect the enjoyment of skilful management of affairs; and supposed that the advantages he already had: and if he were if she should make it known to him, she should submissive to her, he should have still greater adeasily persuade him to come to her bed : and that vantages: but that he must look for revenge and he would consider it as a piece of happy fortune hatred from her in case he rejected her desires, that his mistress should entreat him; as regarding and preferred the reputation of chastity before his that state of slavery he was in, and not his-moral mistress; for that he would gain nothing by such character, which continued after his condition was procedure, as she would then become his accuser, changed. So she made known her illicit inclina- and would falsely pretend to her husband that he tions: however he rejected her entreaties, not attempted her chastity, and that Potiphar would thinking it agreeable to religion to yield so far hearken to her words rather than to his, let his to her, as to do what would tend to the injury of be ever so agreeable to the truth. one who had purchased him, and vouchsafed him But though the woman said thus, and even with so great honours. He therefore exhorted her to tears in her eyes, Joseph was not dissuaded from govern that passion, and laid before her the im- his chastity, nor induced by fear to a compliance possibility of obtaining her desires, which he with her: but he opposed alike her solicitations thought might be conquered, if she had no hope and her threatenings, and was afraid to do an ill of succeeding; and he said that, as to himself, he thing, choosing rather to undergo the sharpest would endure any thing whatever before he would | punishment, than to enjoy his present advantages be persuaded to it: for although it was the duty by doing what his own conscience knew would of a slave, as he was, to do nothing contrary to justly deserve that he should die for it. He also his mistress, he might well be excused in a case reminded her that she was a married woman, and where the contradiction was to such sort of com- that she ought to cohabit with her husband only, mands: but this opposition of Joseph's, when she and desired her to suffer these considerations to did not expect it, made her still more violent in have more weight with her than the short pleaher love to him, and she resolved to accomplish sure of lustful dalliance, which would occasion her design by a second attempt.
trouble and repentance afterwards, and yet would When, therefore, there was a festival coming not amend what had been done amiss. He also on, in which it was the custom for women to come suggested the fear she would be in lest they should to the public solemnity, she pretended to her hus- be caught, and that the advantage of concealment band that she was sick, as contriving an oppor- was uncertain, and that only while the wickedness tunity for solitude and leisure, that she might en was not known would there be any quiet for them. treat Joseph again. This opportunity being ob- But that she might have the enjoyment of her hustained, she used more kind words to him than be- band's company without any danger, and he told fore, and said that it had been good for him to her, that in the company of her husband she might have yielded to her first solicitation, and to have have great boldness, from a good conscience, both given her no repulse, both because of the rever- before God and before men; nay, that she would ence he ought to bear to her dignity, who solicit- act more consistently as his mistress, and make ed him, and because of the vehemency of her pas- use of her authority over him better, while she persion, by which she was forced, though she were sisted in her chastity, than when they were both his mistress, to condescend beneath her dignity. ashamed for what wickedness they had been guilty But that he might now, by taking more prudent of; and that it is much better to depend on a good
life known to have been so, than
upon the hopes * Gen. xxxix. 1.
of the concealment of evil practices,
OF JOSEPH'S SITUATION IN PRISON, AND HIS SUBSEQUENT
Joseph, by saying this and more, tried to re- but condemning Joseph as a wicked man, he threw strain the violent passion of the woman, and to him into the malefactor's prison; and had a still reduce her affections within the rules of reason; higher opinion of his wife, and bare her witness but she grew more ungovernable, and earnest in that she was a woman of a becoming modesty and the matter: and since she despaired of persuading chastity. him, she laid her hands upon him, and had recourse to violence. But as soon as Joseph had
CHAP. V. got away from her anger, leaving his garment with her, and leaped out of her chamber, she was equally afraid lest he should discover her Now Joseph, commending all his affairs to God, lewdness to her husband, and incensed at the did not attempt to make any defence, nor to relate affront he had offered her: so she resolved to the exact circumstances of the fact, but silently be beforehand with him, and to accuse him underwent the bonds and the distress he was in, falsely to Potiphar, and by that means to revenge firmly
believing that God, who knew the cause of herself for his pride and contempt; thinking it a his affliction, and the truth of the fact, would be wise thing in itself, and also becoming a woman, more powerful than those that inflicted the punishthus to prevent his accusation. Accordingly she ment upon him. He accordingly soon received a sat sorrowfully, and in confusion, framing herself proof of God's providence on his behalf; for the so hypocritically and angrily, that the sorrow, keeper of the prison, taking notice of his care and which was really occasioned by her disappoint- fidelity in the affairs he had set him about, and the ment, might appear to be for an attempt upon her dignity of his countenance, relaxed his bonds, and chastity: so that when her husband came home thereby made his heavy calamity lighter, and more and inquired what was the cause of the disorder supportable to him ; he also permitted him to make she was in, she began to accuse Joseph.*
use of a diet better than that of the rest of the “O husband,” said she, “mayest thou not live a prisoners. Now his fellow-prisoners, when their day longer if thou dost not punish the wicked slave hard labours were over, used to discourse with each who hast desired to defile thy bed; who has neither other, being equal sufferers, and to inquire one of recollected who he was, when he came to our house, another what were the occasions of their being conso as to behave himself with modesty, nor has been demned to a prison ? Among them Pharaoh's cupmindful of what favours he had received from thy bearer, and one that had been respected by him, bounty; though he must be an ungrateful man in- was put in bonds upon the king's anger at him. deed, in every respect, not to act agreeable to us. This man was under the same bonds with Joseph,
This man I say, laid a private design to abuse thy and soon grew familiar with him; and upon his wife, and this at the time of a festival, observing observing that Joseph had a better understanding when thou wouldst be absent : so that it now is than the rest, he told him of a dream he had, and clear that his modesty, as it appeared to be formerly, desired he would interpret its meaning, complaining, was only because of the restraint he was in out of that besides the afflictions he underwent from the fear of thee, but that he was not really of a good king, God also added to him trouble from his disposition. This has been occasioned by his being dreams. advanced to honour beyond what he deserved, or He therefore said, that in his sleep he saw three hoped for; insomuch that he concluded that he who clusters of grapes hanging upon three branches of was deemed fit to be trusted with thy estate, and a vine, large, and ripe for gathering, and that he the government of thy family, and was preferred squeezed them into a cup, which the king held in above thy eldest servants, might be allowed to touch his hands, and when he had strained the wine, he thy wife also.” When she had spoken thus, she gave it to the king to drink, and that he received it produced Joseph's garment, as if he had left it with from him with a pleasant countenance. This, he her when he attempted to force her. Potiphar not said, was what he saw; and he desired Joseph, that being able to disbelieve what his wife said, and what if he had any portion of understanding in such he saw himself, and being seduced by his love, did matters, he would tell him what this vision foretold. not set himself about the examination of the truth, Joseph bid him be of good cheer, and expect to be
* There is something not unlike the revengeful artifice in Potiphar's wife, in the representation which the poet makes of Phædra, when in an affair of the like nature she finds herself rejected by her son-in-law Hippolytus
Regeramus ipse crimen, atque ultro impiam
Venerem arguamus, &c.
En præceps abiit
loosed from his bonds in three days' time, because || upon my head; two were full of loaves, and the the king desired his service, and was about to re- third full of sweet-meats, and other eatables, such store it to him again; for he let him know that God as are prepared for kings; but the fowls came flying, bestows the fruit of the vine upon men for good, and ate them all up, and had no regard to my atwhich wine is poured out to him, and is the pledge tempt to drive them away." He then expected a of fidelity and mutual confidence among men, prediction like to that of the cup-bearer's: but Joputting an end to their quarrels, removing passion seph, considering the dream, said to him that he and grief out of the minds of them that use it, and would willingly be an interpreter of good events to making them cheerful. “Thou didst squeeze this him, and not of such as his dream pronounced; but wine,” said he, “ from three clusters of grapes, with he told him that he had only three days to live, as thine hands, and the king received it. Know, there the three baskets signified; but that on the third fore, that this vision is for thy good, and foretells a day he should be crucified, and devoured by fowls, release from thy present distress within the same while he was not able to help himself. Now both number of days as the branches whence thou gath- these dreams had the same events that Joseph foreeredst thy grapes in thy sleep.* *However, remem- told they should have, and this to both parties : for ber what prosperity I have foretold thee, when thou on the third day, when the king solemnized his birthhast found it true; and when thou art in authority, day, he crucified the chief baker, but set the butler do not overlook us in this prison, wherein thou wilt free from his bonds, and restored him to his former leave us, when thou art gone to the place we have service. foretold: for we are not in prison for any crime, God freed Joseph from his confinement after he but for the sake of our virtue and sobriety are we had endured his bonds two years,f and had received condemned to suffer the penalty of malefactors, and no assistance from the cup-bearer, who did not rebecause we are not willing to injure him that has member what he had said to him formerly; and God thus distressed us, though it were for our own contrived this method of deliverance for him. Phapleasure.” The cup-bearer rejoiced to hear such an ragh, the king, had seen in his sleep the same eveninterpretation of his dream, and waited the comple- ing two visions, and after them had the interpretation of what had been thus showed him beforehand. tion of them both given him; he had forgotten the
Another servant of the king's, who had been chief latter, but retained that of the dreams themselves baker, and was now bound in prison with the cup- Being, therefore, troubled at what he had seen, for bearer, was in good hope upon Joseph's interpreta- it seemed to him to be all of a melancholy nature; tion of the other's vision, for he had dreamed also ; | the next day he called together the wisest men so he desired that Joseph would tell him what the among the Egyptians, desiring to learn from them visions he had seen the night before might mean? the interpretation of his dreams; but when they “I thought,” said he, “that I carried three baskets hesitated about them, the king was so much the
* An. 1767.
# Gen. xl. 18.
The the king's cup-bearer and baker, Pharaoh shall lift up thy head, world for divinations of all kinds ; and therefore it is very probaseems somewhat too literally translated, since the words in the ble that the word Hhartaumim, which we render magicians, is original mean no more, than that Pharaoh would have them not of Hebrew, but Chaldee origin. The roots, however, from brought forth and examined. The ancients, we are to know, in whence it springs (if it be a compound word, as probably it is,) keeping their reckonings, or accounts, of time, or their list of are not so visible; and therefore commentators are perplexed domestie officers, or servants, made use of tables with holes to know by what method men of this profession proceeded in bored in them, in which they put a sort of pegs, or nails, with their inquiry into secret things; whether they pretended to exbroad heads, exhibiting the particulars, either number, or namne, pound dreams, and descry future events, by natural observaor whatever it was. These nails, or pegs, the Jews call heads, tions, by the art of astrology, (which came much in request in and the sockets of the heads they call bases. The meaning future ages,) by such rules as are now found in the books of therefore of Pharaoh's lifting up his head, is, that Pharaoh Oneirocrites, or by certain characters, images, pictures, and would take out the peg, which had the cup-bearer's name on figures, which were engraved with magical rites and cercthe top of it, to read it; i. e. would sit in judgment, and make monies. It is not to be doubted, indeed, but that the magicians, examination into his accounts. For it seems very probable that whom Pharaoh consulted for the interpretations of his dreams, both he and the baker had been either suspected or accused of made use of some, at least, if not all, these arts; and the Jewish having cheated the king; and that, when their accounts were doctors would make us believe, that after several attempts of examined and cast up, the one was acquitted, while the other divers kinds, they came at last to this exposition, that Pharaoh's was found guilty. And though Joseph uses the same expression daughters (for they suppose him to have seven) should die, and in both cases, yet we may observe, that speaking to the baker that he should have seven others born to him in their stead ; he adds, that Pharaoh shall lift up thy head from off thee, i. e. but this being not at all satisfactory to their master, put the shall order thy name to be struck out of the list of his servants, cup-bearer in mind of Joseph's great abilities that way. Le by taking the peg out of the socket. Bibliotheca Bibl. in Clerc's and Patrick's Commentary. B. locum. B.
more disturbed. And now it was that the memory || seven other ears of corn, meagre and weak for of Joseph's skill came into the mind of the king's want of rain, which fell to eating and consuming cup-bearer, when he saw the confusion Pharaoh was those that were fit for reaping, and put me into in; so he came and mentioned Joseph to him, as great astonishment.” also the vision he had seen in prison, and how the Joseph replied; “ This dream, O king, although event proved as he had said; as also that the chief seen under two forms, signifies one and the same baker was crucified on the very same day; and event of things; for when thou sawest the kine, that this also happened to him according to the in- which is an animal made for the plough and for terpretation of Joseph: that Joseph himself was labour, devoured by the poorer kine; and the laid in bonds by Potiphar as a slave, but he said he ears of corn eaten up by the smaller ears, they was one of the noblest of the stock of the Hebrews, foretell a famine, and want of the fruits of the and that his father lived in great splendour. “If
, earth for the same number of years, and equal therefore,” said he,“ thou wilt send for him, and not with those when Egypt was in a happy state; and despise him on account of his misfortunes, thou this so far, that the plenty of these years will be wilt learn what thy dreams signify.” The king, spent in the same number of years of scarcity, thereby, commanded that they should bring Joseph and that scarcity of necessary provisions will be into his presence; and those who received the com- very difficult to be corrected: as a sign whereof mand came and brought him with them, having the ill-favoured kine, when they had devoured the taken care of his habit, that it might be decent, as better sort, could not be satisfied. But still God the king had enjoined them to do.
foreshows what is to come upon men, not to grieve The king took him by the hand, and said, “O them, but that when they know it beforehand, they young man, for my servant bears witness that thou may, by prudence, make the actual experience of art at present the best and most skilful person I what is foretold the more tolerable. If thou therecan consult with ; vouchsafe me the same favours fore carefully dispose of the plentiful crops which which thou bestowed on this servant of mine, and will come in the former years, thou wilt procure tell me what events are predicted by the visions that the future calamity will not be felt by the of my dreams: and I desire thee to suppress no- Egyptians.” thing out of fear, nor to flatter me with lying Hereupon the king wondered at the discretion words, or with what may please me, although the and wisdom of Joseph; and asked him by what truth should be of a melancholy nature. It seemed means he might so dispense the plentiful crops in to me that as I walked by the river, I saw kine the happy years, as to make the miserable crops fat and very large, seven in number, going from more tolerable : Joseph then added this advice; the river to the marshes; and other kine of the to spare the good crops, and not permit the same number like them met them out of the Egyptians to spend them luxuriously ; but to remarshes, exceeding lean and ill-favoured; which serve what they would have spent in luxury beyond ate up the fat and large kine, and yet were no their necessity against the time of want. He also better than before, and not less miserably pinched exhorted him to take the corn of the husbandwith famine. After I had seen this vision, I awoke men, and give them only so much as might suffice out of my sleep; but being in disorder, and con- for their food. Accordingly Pharaoh, being sursidering with myself what this appearance should prised at Joseph, not only for his interpretation be, I fell asleep again, and saw another dream of the dream, but for the counsel he had given, much more wonderful than the foregoing, which intrusted him with dispensing the com; with the did still more affright and disturb me.* I saw power to do what he thought would be for the seven ears of corn growing out of one root, having benefit of the people of Egypt, and for the benefit their heads borne down by the weight of the grains, of the king: as believing that he who first disand bending down with the fruit, which was now covered this method of acting would prove the ripe, and fit for reaping: and near these I saw best overseer of it. Joseph having this
* In Barbary, one stalk of wheat, or barley, will sometimes Dr. Shaw: “In Barbary it is common to see one grain produce bear two ears, while each of these ears will as often shoot out ten or fifteen stalks. Even some grains of the murwaany wheat, into a number of less ones, thereby affording a most plentiful which I brought with me to Oxford, and sowed in the physic increase. May not these large prolific ears, when seven are garden, threw out each of them fifty. But Muzeratty, one of the said to come upon one stalk, explain what is further mentioned late kaleefas, or viceroys, of the province of Tlemsan, brought of the seven fruitful years in Egypt, that is, that the earth brought once with him to Algiers a root that yielded four-score: telling forth by handfuls ?
us, that the prince of the western pilgrims sent once to the This latter passage may, indeed, mean, that the earth brought bashaw of Cairo one that yielded six-score. Pliny mentions forth handfuls of stalks from single grains, and not handfuls of some that bore three or four hundred.” B. ears from single stalks, agreeably to the following passage from
OF THE ARRIVAL OF JOSEPH'S BRETHREN IN EGYPT, AND HIS CONDUCT
him by the king,* with leave to make use of his who sold the corn to them; being become conseal, and to wear purple,t drove in his chariot fessedly a saviour to the whole multitude of the through all the land of Egypt ;£ and took the Egyptians. Nor did he open this market of corn corng of the husbandmen, allotting as much to for the people of that country only: but strangers every one as would be sufficient for seed and for had liberty to buy also, Joseph being willing that food; but without discovering to any one the all men, who are naturally akin to each other, reason why he did so.
should have assistance from those that lived in
happiness. CHAP. VI.
Jacob, also, when he understood that foreigners had this privilege, sent all his sons into Egypt to buy corn; for the land of Canaan was grievously afflicted
with the famine: and this great misery touched the JOSEPH was now grown up to thirty years of whole continent. He only retained Benjamin, who age, and enjoyed great honours from the king; was born to him by Rachel; and was of the same who called him Psothom Phanech, out of regard mother as Joseph. These sons of Jacob came into to his prodigious degree of wisdom ; for that Egypt, and applied themselves to Joseph, to buy corn, -name denotes a revealer of secrets. He also for nothing of this kind was done without his appromarried a wife of very high quality: she was the bation; since even the honour that was paid the king daughter of Petephres,|| one of the priests of He himself
, was only advantageous to the persons that liopolis, and her name was Asenath. By her he paid it, when they took care to honour Joseph also. had children before the scarcity came on: Manas. Now when he well knew his brethren, they thought seh, the elder, which signifies forgetful; because nothing of him; for he was but a youth when he left his present happiness made him forget his former them, and was now come to an age so much greater, misfortunes. And Ephraim, the younger, which that the lineaments of his face were changed, and he signifies restored; because he was restored to the was not known to them; besides this, the greatness freedom of his forefathers.
of the dignity wherein he appeared, suffered them Now after Egypt had happily passed over seven not so much as to suspect the truth. He therefore years, according to Joseph's interpretation of the now made trial what sentiments they had about the dreams, the famine came upon them on the eighth affairs of the greatest consequence; for he refused year: and because this misfortune fell upon them to sell them corn, and said they were come as spies when they had no sense of it beforehand, they of the king's affairs; and that they came from sevewere all sorely afflicted by it, and came running ral countries, and joined themselves together, and to the king's gates; and he called upon Joseph, pretended they were of kin; it not being possible
* Joseph had his name changed on this occasion. It was an † To be arrayed in a rich dress, and to ride in great pomp ancient custom among eastern princes, upon their promotion of and ceremony, were the ancient modes of investing with the any favourite, to give him a new name. Nebuchadnezzar, we highest degree of subordinate power in Egypt; and with a small read, Dan. i. 7, imposed new names upon Daniel, and his com variation, still remains so. The history of the revolt of Ali Bey, panions in Babylon; and to this very day Mogul never advances (p. 43.) informs us, that on the election of a new sheik bellet, a man, but he gives him a new name, and that significative of the pasha who approves of him invests him with a valuable fur, something belonging to him; but here the question is, what is treats him with sherbet, and when the sheik bellet departs, the the meaning of the name which Pharaoh gave Joseph ? In the pasha presents him with a horse richly caparisoned. HARMER, Hebrew text it is Zaphnah paaneah, but in the Egyptian and vol. iii. p. 308. B. Greek Pentateuch it is Pson-thonphanech. The oriental ver $ Gen. xlv. 42, 43. sions, however, are pretty unanimous in rendering it, a revealer That is, bought it for Pharaoh at a very low price. of secrets; but there are some reasons why this should not be This Potiphar, or as in Josephus, Petephres, who was now its true interpretation. For the time that Pharaoh gave the a priest of On or Heliopolis, is the same name in Josephus, and patriarch this name, was when he advanced him from the condi- perhaps in Moses also, with him who is before called the Head tion of an imprisoned slave to that of a ruler throughout all the Cook or Captain of the Guard; and to whom Joseph was sold. land of Egypt; and therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that See Gen. xxxvii. 36. xxxix. 1. with xli. 50. They are also he gave it in commemoration of such promotion, rather than of affirmed to be one and the same person in the Testament of his expounding dreams: because to have called him an interpreter | Joseph, for he is there said to have married the daughter of his of dreams only, had been degrading him to the level of magi- master and mistress. Nor is this a notion peculiar to the Testacians. Now if Pharaoh gave him this name in memory of his ment; but as Dr. Bernard confesses, common to Josephus, to promotion, it was very likely that this name was strictly and the Septuagint interpreters, and to other learned Jews of old properly Egyptian, (otherwise the common people could not have time. understood it,) though Moses, in his recording it, might en 1 This entire ignorance of the Egyptians of these years of deavour to accommodate it to the Hebrew idiom; and if it was famine before they came, told us before, as well as here, by Egyptian, the word in that language signifies what we call a Josephus, seems almost incredible. It is in no other copy that prime minister: or strictly the first, or prince of the lords. I know of. Bibliotheca Bibl. occas. annot. 41. B.